Red Light Cameras
Gig Seeker Pro

Red Light Cameras

Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | INDIE

Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Alternative Pop




"Red Light Cameras – Self-Titled EP"

Unlike real life red light cameras, the four-piece band Red Light Cameras is extremely easy to like. However, like traffic red light cameras in one respect, this band’s music may well stop you in your tracks.

The group’s primary artistic weapon is its lead vocalist, Amanda Machon. Machon can sound like a cool Debra Harry one moment, and then a toughened hard rocker, like Pat Benatar, the next.

Machon is at her Blondie-est turning “Liar,” which hearkens back to Blonde’s early, rougher-edged days. Garage rock is the umbrella description that fits this group’s music best. Even so, there’s much more going on here than noisy rock & roll. For example, “Got My Doubts” is a song balanced upon acoustic guitar and harmonica, while “Home” is a pretty, country-leaning track with slide guitar. It finds Machon crooning, “I wish I was home,” longingly.

This album’s rock elements are also fairly wide-ranging. For instance, “Juice” features a Cars-like guitar figure, which makes it sound much like a Cars ballad. Most noteworthy of all is “Ooh Hot Mess,” which begins with a Mazzy Star-esque groove, before speeding up to a punk rock workout before all is said and done. Machon, who can both whisper and scratchily sing her lyrics, actually screams some of the words to this one. On “Bicycle,” there is even a Machon spoken word part.

Lyrically, these songs primarily focus on love and romance, the oldest musical subjects in the book. You get the distinct impression that love is rarely a smooth road, with many annoying bumps along the way. While “Juice” speaks of how a girl like a particular boy more than juice (well, we’d hope so, right?) both “Liar” and “Why” are single-worded-titles that try to make sense of severe partnering troubles, only ending up sounding angry and confused.

Surprisingly, Red Light Cameras is a band from Albuquerque, NM, which – the last time I checked – was a haven for peaceful new age adherents. However, these intense rock & rollers sound anything but content. In other words, these sounds suggest a more urban zip code because the music is so overtly aggressive most the time.

There’s something intriguing and enjoyable about a female-fronted rock band, such as this one. Girls that rock are exotic and mysterious creatures. They’re like ex-con gals; they’ve somehow seen a side of life that, say administrative assistants will never ever experience. Guys are attracted to such women. Sure, there are the sugar, spice and everything nice types. However, sometimes a dude just wants some smoking hot sauce to test his manhood.

When Machon spits out the lyrics to “Why,” over a guitar riff that somehow meshes Seeds with surf sonics, it’s an aural breath of fresh air for anyone dulled by the glossy radio hits regularly turned out by Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. Those gals may dress like it is Halloween every day, but Machon performs like she’s your worst nightmare – every midnight hour of your life. Furthermore, with “Convertible” she takes us on a drag strip race from (to?) hell. She’s a cool driver, but she takes scary chances from right out of the gate.

This band is built for speed, so no red light cameras — or any other photographic deterrents, for that matter – will ever slow them down. And that’s just the way it ought to be.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars!

Album Name: Red Light Cameras
Date Released: October, 2011
Genre(s): Indie/Garage/Pop
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Band Members: Amanda Machon-Vocals, Kirsten Lopez-Drums, Chris Walsh-Guitar, Barney Lopez-Bass
Myspace: - Indie Music Reviewer

"Don’t run any red lights on your way to the show"

Sometimes it takes a lineup change for a band to find its sound.

In the case of Albuquerque-based indie rock band Red Light Cameras, it came in the voice of Amanda Machon.

“We were a garage rock type of band before Amanda came in,” says bassist Barney Lopez during a recent phone interview. “In the summer of 2010, we were getting bored with the old band and decided to pick up a female vocalist. When she came in, she completely changed the sound of the band.”

That was in September 2010.

Flash forward a year and the four-piece band – drummer Kirsten Lopez, guitarist Chris Walsh, Machon and Lopez – has put together its first album, aptly titled “Red Light Cameras.” It will be released on Saturday, Oct. 15.

“We learned a lot while we were recording the album and I think it added to the band,” Lopez says.

Along with Machon as the new vocalist came a new name.

“Red Light Cameras carries all this weight around and there’s a lot of anger and paranoia,” he says. “At the same time, we think that it’s very weird to be living in a society that is being watched by cameras.”

Red Light Cameras list musical influences such as Smashing Pumpkins, The Flaming Lips, Arcade Fire, Tegan & Sara, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Silversun Pickups, The Pixies and Sleigh Bells.

“We enjoy bands that are lyrically driven,” he says. “You have to have strong lyrics to accompany a great melody. That’s our goal when we write songs.”

Despite only having one album, Lopez says the band already has filmed two music videos for singles from its sampler that was released last year. He says the band enjoys the video process because each member has a history of being a performer.

“Chris and I work with the Blackout Theatre and he has a degree in film,” he says. “Amanda is an actress and Kirsten is a dancer. We all have these backgrounds in performing, so when it comes to making a video, we’re all on the same page and it allows us to explore our creative side.” - Albuquerque Journal

"Breaking the Speed Limit"

Red Light Cameras’ rapid rise to local prominence built on band chemistry and catchy sound

By Charlie Crago
It’s becoming more and more clear that when speaking of Albuquerque’s Red Light Cameras, it is not the Big-Brotheresque, government-sanctioned, pole-mounted video recorders paving the way for an Orwellian state we should be concerned with, but rather, the stomping-rock outfit currently taking the city by storm.

Comprised of husbands, wives, thespians and old friends, Red Light Cameras has garnered a massive local following in an incredibly short period of time. Still, it isn’t too hard to find them, as the band is booked somewhere in Albuquerque almost every weekend — a fact emphasized by drummer Kirsten Lopez in a recent interview with Local iQ.

“Wherever we can go, however we can make it, we’ll play,” she said.

There couldn’t be a more appropriate location to talk with a band than a dark corner of a dark bar on a dark street lit by little more than a neon sign. I asked the members of Red Light Cameras over beers at Burt’s Tiki Lounge how they felt about the rapid success of the band, and as they completed each other’s sentences, it became clear that Red Light Cameras is a band united by a strong sense of loyalty.

Husband-and-wife duo Barney and Kirsten Lopez handle drum and bass duties, respectively, with Chris Walsh’s guitar leading the troupe. Vocalist Amanda Machon described the band’s success: “It’s pretty exciting. It’s all happened very fast; we haven’t even been Red Light Cameras for a year. We have great chemistry as a band, and musically we get each other,“ she said.

With vocal arrangements ranging from the hardest line to the most bittersweet, the spectrum of musical instrumentation covered by the rhythm and lead sections of the band spans the gauntlet of melodic inspiration. You will be hard-pressed to leave a Red Light Cameras live show and not find yourself humming their tunes in the morning.

“I’ve heard it about our band, which I like, that it’s so catchy you can’t help but like it,” said guitarist Walsh. “I think that’s our one goal — to be as catchy as possible. I want to be stuck in your head.”

Recorded mostly piece-by-piece at the Que Studios in Albuquerque, Red Light Cameras’ self-titled debut album represents a gold standard in local recording and sound engineering. If you have the means, listen to Red Light Cameras on headphones — notice the fine use of throw-back stereo recording on tracks like “Hot Mess.”

“We’d go in once or twice a week and do long sessions,” Barney Lopez said, describing the recording process. “As it went on we’d do more short sessions, so we took our time doing it over the summer.”

Comparisons are thrown around with reckless abandon in the music industry today, so I reasoned it would be best to ask the band how they felt about being compared to other rock ‘n’ roll bands, and where they might fall on that comparison scale.

“Comparisons are fine, we like them. They help in defining genres,” said vocalist Machon. “We’ve had a hard time, though. We don’t know what genre we are. Usually when we have to describe it we say, ‘Pop, rock, 80s, garage, a little blues inspiration — we play country.’”

In reality, the question is, how do you pigeonhole such a simultaneously fresh and brash band? The fact is: you should not. Rather, go see Red Light Cameras for the release of their debut record, and while you’re at it, you can catch a virtual who’s who of local talent. Enjoy yourself. - Local IQ

"For Those Who Favor Fire Album Review"

Red Light Cameras burst on to the Albuquerque indie-rock scene in early 2011 and quickly gained notoriety from fans and critics alike. With their refreshing blend of conventional pop music song-craft, dance-rock rhythms, post-punk musical aesthetic, and emotionally charged, high energy performances, Red Light Cameras have deservedly become one of the top live acts in the Duke City. Their latest effort, an EP entitled For Those Who Favor Fire, looks to cement that status.

The first thing you notice about For Those Who Favor Fire is the improved production quality. Opening track “Fire” starts with the synchronized thump of Kristen Lopez’s bass drum and hand claps as lead singer Amanda Machon harmonizes oohs and aahs in her signature Gwen Stefani via Joan Jett vocal delivery. Once the band kicks in, the song’s upbeat dance rhythm takes hold and intoxicates the listener with its hook. The track serves as a great introduction to the EP and demonstrates both the quality of songwriting and arrangement of a band with clear vision of who they are and what they want to be. The second song “Caged” is my personal favorite on the record. The post-punk/dance music with Machon’s raw and honest lyrics evoke an emotional openness that other acts could only hope to achieve. “Don’t Need Me” begins with call and response vocal tracks and builds to become the stand out rock track on the EP. “I know my love, I know you don’t need me!” Machon belts showing the heavier side of the band and channeling her inner Janis Joplin. The Fourth track “Okay” perfectly illustrates the aforementioned dance and post rock influences. Combined with their penchant for writing catchy melodies and harmonized vocals it is easy to see this would be a great song to see live. Finally, the EP’s closer “Fingers” Crossed shows Machon at her most vulnerable. The track builds from slow ballad to all out dance-rock assault and perfectly caps off an EP that will surely get repeat listens from fans new and old.

For Those Who Favor Fire shows a band who has both grown tremendously yet always known who they are. They’ve honed in their sound and it’s only a matter of time before their infectious hooks and bouncing beats have you tapping your foot and singing along. You can catch their EP release show tonight at The Launchpad. Tickets are $15 and doors open at 8. Don’t miss out on one of ABQ’s finest local acts! - Bound


Still working on that hot first release.



Red Light Cameras is a hot 4 piece Indie/Garage/Pop outfit from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Started in late 2010, Red Light Cameras has quickly become Albuquerques Must-See Band! Red Light Cameras are an energetic group of performers that always put on an amazing live show. The band is fronted by musical theatre actress, Amanda Machon, and her powerhouse voice has been described as what Tina Turner and Janis Joplin would have produced if they ever had a kid together. (Israel Red Light Cameras are an aural breath of fresh air. (Dan MacIntoshIndie Music Reviewer Magazine)

Red Light Cameras are known for their live shows. As a group of accomplished performance artists, aside from the band, they are always guaranteed to put on an entertaining show!

Red Light Cameras play regularly in Albuquerque and have shared the stage with such acts as Girl in a Coma, Those Darlins, The Melismatics, Said the Whale, Fort Wilson Riot, The Big Spank & Ume.

In 2012, the band was nominated for 2 New Mexico Music Awards, Best Music Video & Best Rock Album.

Band Members